Aussie Firebug

Financial Independence Retire Early

Here are some common questions about FIRE and Aussie Firebug.

FIRE
BASICS

What does FIRE mean?

FIRE = Financial Independence Retire Early.

What is Financial Independence?

FI is can be described as:

‘Having sufficient personal wealth to live, without having to work actively for basic necessities. For financially independent people, their assets generate income that is greater than their expenses.’

FI basically means that you have income producing assets that generate enough money for you to live off…forever.

What is Early Retirement?

“Retired Early” in the FIRE realm is interpreted slightly different than the traditional meaning. 

RE means you no longer have to work for money, and you are conscious of this fact. You can then do whatever you want, as long as you do it knowingly and of your own accord. 

RE does not mean you stop working.

It means that you will stop doing meaningless work and trading your time for money. If your meaningful work/passion project ends up earning some money after your FIRE date that’s a bonus.

But you’re still retired in the FIRE context!

Is it really possible to retire by 30?

Absolutely!

You only need to follow two simple rules in order to reach FI.

  1. Spend less than you earn.
  2. Invest the surplus

After following the above it’s simply a matter of patience.

Will you reach FIRE by 30? I have no idea!

A lot depends on how young you started and how much of your income you can save.

You can calculate your retirement date by using the Australian FIRE calculator.

INVESTING

How much do I need to retire?

Short answer: Roughly 25 times your annual spendings

How's it going to work?

Short answer: Once you know exactly how much you’re spending each year by tracking your expenses. You then need to generate this amount annually plus inflation through your assets. 

Long answer: Read Our Investing Strategy Explained

What do I invest in?

Anything that will generate a passive income that you can live off in retirement.

A popular choice amongst the Aussie FIRE crowd are ETFs and LICs.

And I wouldn’t be Australian if I didn’t mention property. You can read my take on Real Estate vs Share and make up your own mind on which one of these two popular asset classes suits you best. 

 

What about Super?

This is a tricky question because it really depends on two things.

  1. How close you are to FIRE?
  2. How long until you reach your preservation age and can access Super?

 I personally don’t add any extra to my Super because I’m over 30 years away from accessing it. Adding to my Super for someone as young as me does not allow me to retire early. 

It will increase my wealth more because of the tax benefits, but would you rather $1M in your bank today or $10M when you turn 60? 

Once I’m closer to my preservation age, I intend to start maxing out my Super salary sacrifice. 

AUSSIE FIREBUG

How old is Aussie Firebug?

I was born in 1989 and Mrs. FB was born in 1991. 

What do I do for work?

Aussie Firebug works as an IT professional and Mrs. FB is a teacher. 

How do I revalue my properties every month?

We post our net worth each month as we get one step closer to FIRE. Part of the update is how much our properties have gained or lost in value. 

It’s not like we get a valuation done every month for the property price. We used a service provided by Commonwealth bank who use Various data sources (RP data, Domain.com etc.)  in combination of what similar surrounding properties were sold for to calculate an estimate.

This is an official Commonwealth bank estimate and one which they use to approve loans.

It’s not perfect but it’s what we use. 

Why do I keep a large amount of cash?

I always have an emergency fund sitting around (6 months of living expenses). But my largish amount of cash holdings is because we have investment properties. I always like to keep around $5k cash against each property’s offset just in case of urgent repairs/emergencies. 

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